Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats are moving “full steam ahead” on Covid-19 relief even as the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins, pushing back against any assertion that his party can’t balance two priorities at once.
“To the pundits who said we can’t do both at once, we say you are wrong. We can and we are,” Schumer told reporters at a press conference ahead of the trial.
In his remarks, Schumer said the Senate will move forward with the impeachment trial as well as a “bold plan to get this country out of the crisis” which will prioritize vaccine distribution as well as address the painful economic impact of the crisis on millions of Americans who have lost jobs. The plan also includes a measure that would allow schools to reopen safely, a boon for parents who have had to juggle their children’s education via virtual learning.
Commenting on the impeachment trial, Schumer said Republicans should pay “very real attention to the evidence here because it’s very, very serious.”
“The Senate has a solemn responsibility to try and hold Donald Trump accountable for the most serious charges ever, ever levied against a president,” he said.
These statements come amid news that House impeachment managers who will prosecute Trump’s impeachment are prepared to make arguments akin to a “violent crime” case, according to aides who spoke to reporters about impeachment trial mechanics.
Aides also said prosecutors will use new evidence against him, even indicating it is possible Republican senators who have otherwise expressed hesitation over convicting Trump for inciting an insurrection against Congress would be likely to convict based on this new evidence.
“When you have such a serious charge, sweeping it under the rug will not bring unity; it will keep the sore open, the wounds open,” Schumer said. “You need truth and accountability.”
Trump’s lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr., David I. Schoen and Michael T. van der Veen, make clear they view the trial as little more than a partisan exercise.
“This impeachment proceeding was never about seeking justice,” they wrote in a brief submitted to the Senate yesterday. “Instead, this was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans across the entire political spectrum upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a few hundred people.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.